Personal Liability

News & Analysis as of

Inside M&A - Winter 2015

Recent U.S. Cases Highlight Liability Risks to Executives in Mining, Heavy Industrial Transactions - Historically, corporate executives rarely faced personal or criminal liability resulting from mining or environmental...more

Personal Liability for Export Violations: Civil Penalties for Individuals May be Trekking Toward You

You run a small tech company that customizes other manufacturers’ desktop and laptop computers for your customers. You can install special chipsets, encryption hardware and software, upgrade the fans and power units to make...more

2015 Trends: #7 Crime and Punishment

On the accountability and punishment front, three trends bear watching: 1) Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) DPAs and Non-Prosecution Agreements (NPAs) allow prosecutors to require corporate reforms and...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 122-with Matt Kelly on Alstom, Avon and Petrobras [Video]

In this episode, Compliance Week Editor-in-Chief Matt Kelly and I discuss the Avon and Alstom FCPA enforcement actions and then take a look at the ongoing Petrobras corruption scandal and what it means for Brazil. ...more

Changes to New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act Eliminating the Annual Wage Notice Requirement

On December 29, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that amends the Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “WTPA”) eliminating the burdensome annual wage notice requirement that was previously placed on employers (the...more

Managing Litigation Risk: Critical Questions for Private Equity Professionals Serving on Portfolio Company Boards

Private equity funds, and individuals affiliated with fund sponsors, are increasingly being named as defendants in lawsuits involving their portfolio companies. This litigation risk arises most frequently where a fund...more

Staying Off the Hook - Managing the Evolving Bad-Boy Guaranty

As the financial crisis of 2008 drifts further into the rear-view mirror, the cost of capital available for commercial real estate financing is historically low and accessible, frequently coming in the “non-recourse” variety...more

SEC Seeks Serious Penalties Against Sands Brothers and its Senior Officers for Alleged Repeated Custody Rule Violations - Former...

On October 29, 2014, the SEC announced that it had instituted administrative proceedings under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 against Sands Brothers Asset Management LLC (Sands Brothers), its two co-founders and the...more

The FCPA Year in Review: Twist and Shout (Part I of II)

We all like annual reviews and predictions for the upcoming year – it is a New Year’s rite of passage and one that brings perspective and a sense of order to our otherwise chaotic lives....more

Pow! Whack! Slam! Bam! – DOJ Finishes the FCPA Year with a Bang

Giving away my old age, we all loved the 1960s Batman series starring Adam West. Thanks to the Batman show we were given a long list of words to underscore Batman and Robin’s slugfests with the weekly villain (e.g. Penguin,...more

The liability of a trustee who honors a fraudulent exercise of a power of appointment

A trustee who transfers trust property to a permissible appointee for the benefit of an impermissible appointee such that the fraud on a special power doctrine is implicated incurs no liability as a consequence, unless the...more

Key Changes to New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act Become Law

After a delay of nearly six months, on December 29, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into a law a bill (A 8106-C, S5885-B) that amends the state's Labor Law, including the Wage Theft Prevention Act (the WTPA), and...more

Employer Held Personally Liable For $1.1 Million For Back Wages And Business Expenses Of Obtaining H-1B Visas And J-1 Waivers

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held that the owner of several medical clinics in Tennessee and Florida was personally liable for back wages, the costs of obtaining H-1B and J-1 waivers...more

A Cautionary Tale: Members of a Defunct LLC May Have Liability For Attorney Fees

In CB Richard Ellis Inc. v. Terra Nostra Consultants the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting issue concerning the liability of an LLC member for a fee award imposed against the...more

Bright Petroleum, Inc. Shareholders/Officers to Pay $15,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Suit

Food Market Terminated Manager Who Filed Discrimination Charge, Federal Agency Charged - INDIANAPOLIS - Two shareholders/officers of the dissolved corporation Bright Petroleum Inc. d/b/a The Bright Market, will pay...more

Alstom Joins Santa’s Naughty List – In a Very Big Way

The North Pole for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action announcements seems to have temporarily moved south for the month of December. Last week there was the final announcement of the long-standing Avon...more

SEC Distances Itself From Janus and Adopts Expansive View of Rule 10b-5(a) and (c)

The SEC recently rendered an opinion in an enforcement action against two persons, John P. Flannery and James D. Hopkins, associated with an investment adviser. In so doing, it sought to limit the Supreme Court’s holding in...more

A Judgment Cannot Not Lie Against Attorney Who is a Non Party

In Suarez v. City of Corona, 2014 DJDAR 12101, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting case concerning the interpretation of California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1038....more

Hiring Consultants

Technology companies receive services from a variety of individuals and often use consultants, either for marketing advice, for software development or for other discreet tasks. It’s important to be sure the consultants are...more

Are Your Company’s Directors and Officers Suitably Insured for Negligence and Civil Fines and Penalties?

Corporate directors and officers have a long list of things that can keep them up at night. Personal liability for civil fines and penalties arising out of negligence should not be one of them. Companies often must or will...more

Dispute Over Landscaping Repairs Results in Personal Penalties against Condo Directors and a Fascinating Governance War Story

Court decisions holding corporate directors personally liable for acting in bad faith tend to be few and far between in Canadian jurisprudence. The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Boily et al v Carleton Condominium...more

Vascular Solutions Inc. and its CEO Face Criminal Charges for Selling Unapproved Medical Devices

Last week, the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an indictment charging Vascular Solutions Inc. (VSI) and its CEO Howard Root with (1) selling medical devices without the approval of the U.S. Food...more

SEC Charges Audit Committee Chair for Failing to Investigate Red Flags

The SEC recently brought an enforcement action against the Chairman of the Audit Committee of AgFeed Industries, Inc. The Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, called the AgFeed action “a cautionary tale of what...more

Participation Not Required: SEC Charges Mayor as Control Person in Municipal Bond Offering

In an unprecedented exercise of its authority to charge municipal officials with “control person” liability, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced fraud charges against the City of Allen Park,...more

Hold Your Cards Close: Data Protection and the Gaming Industry

Increased cybercrimes and data security threats have recently made headline news with reports of massive data security breaches at major U.S. companies, including Target and more recently, The Home Depot. Risks of data...more

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